compatibilism

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iambiguous
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

Spinoza & Other Determinists
Myint Zan compares different ways of denying free will.
If one fast-forwards from the late seventeenth century to the late twentieth century, in a lecture in March 1990 the astrophysicist Stephen Hawking also expressed an opinion about free will. Hawking argued that the concept of diminished responsibility in British criminal law should be abolished. Under this legal concept a few defendants’ criminal culpability, and hence their punishments, can be reduced, in certain exceptional circumstances. Even more rarely, they might be held legally ‘not guilty’ if the law or the Courts assume that these defendants do not have adequate comprehension of, or control over, their actions. The concept of diminished responsibility can also be seen in the rare cases where criminal defendants are found ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’.
This just shows us how convoluted these things can become. Clearly if none of us have any actual autonomy regarding anything that we do then others who still hold us responsible do so only because they too are in the same boat. Whereas if we do possess some measure of volition, there are still going to be any number of factors in our life that are beyond our either fully controlling or even fully understanding.

Thus I'd be curious to know how Hawkings himself might have reacted to my own "free will determinist" assumptions.
The thrust of the thinking behind Hawking’s proposal to abolish this legal concept of diminished responsibility is that since all the actions of all human beings are determined (that is, predetermined), why give special preference to those criminal defendants having the defence of ‘diminished responsibility’?
If all of our actions are "determined [that is, predetermined"] how was that not applicable in turn to Hawking? He was compelled by his brain...a brain wholly embedded in the only possible reality, just like ours...to propose that "society" abolish this legal concept of diminished responsibility. And society on cue does so. Or on cue does not.
Hawking seems to be saying, “Don’t accept only a few criminal defendants’ claims that ‘We could not have helped ourselves’, because other criminals, indeed all human beings, cannot help themselves in all their actions, either.”
Then back to how I react to that one way, while others react in an entirely different way. And yet what still seems more relevant to me is that the criminal defendant, the prosecutor, the judge, the jury, you, me and everyone else here are just more dominoes toppling over in but one of nature's countless sets of circumstances. Circumstances that unfold given the immutable laws of matter.

Next up: the reality...
However, in Great Britain the doctrine of diminished responsibility has not been abolished; nor, as far as this writer is aware, has the doctrine been abolished in former British colonies, from Australia through India and Malaysia to Zimbabwe.
What, the laws of matter work differently in former British colonies?
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iambiguous
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

Spinoza & Other Determinists
Myint Zan compares different ways of denying free will.
I’d ask, if Spinoza were to come back, would he agree with Hawking’s version of philosophical determinism?
You know what's coming...

He'd come back only if he were never able not to come back. And, as with Hawking's version of determinism, his own reaction to that would in turn be wholly determined by his brain...wholly in sync with the laws of matter. Then my reaction to that and your reaction to my reaction...fated? destined?
Further, after studying modern criminal law and criminology, would he agree with Hawking’s suggestion that the legal doctrine of diminished responsibility be abolished?
How is this not basically the frame of mind that libertarians would embody in discussing this? Studying something when you could freely opt not to. Agreeing with others only because you were never able not to agree with them.
I venture to suggest that there may be shades of differences between Spinoza’s and Hawking’s deterministic philosophies, but they’re not that far apart.

They are as far apart as they must be -- can only be -- determinists are themselves compelled to argue.
Both hold that free will is an illusion. On the other hand, Spinoza’s and Hawking’s metaphysical determinism is very different from and incompatible with the metaphysics of Augustine and Calvin.
Cue the Christian God, perhaps? Conjuring the argument that human freedom is still an illusion given His omniscient point of view.
promethean75
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Re: compatibilism

Post by promethean75 »

"You know what's coming..."

Determinists, who are a special type of philosophical shaman, have the power to cause the lower ranking philosopher - the freewillist - to realize there is no freewill, provided the freewillist has the intelligence to comprehend and understand the determinist's arguments.

Now even tho the whole chain of events here - the determinist coming along and convincing the freewillist, etc. - is determined itself, the freewillist wouldn't have been able to ascend to the rank of philosophical shaman without the effect of the determinist. And this cannot work vice-versa; the freewillist can't determine the determinist to become a freewillist becuz there is no freewill. Of course he may convince him to believe there is, but that won't make freewill exist.

In a sense a determinist is like an intellectual evolutionary mechanism of natural intelligence selection. He reproduces strong intelligence like healthy animals reproduce strong genes. But, there is no survival of the intellectually fittest here, and the darwinist principle is reversed: it isn't the smartest one's that thrive intellectually, but the dumb ones... the ones who believe in freewill.
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iambiguous
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

Spinoza & Other Determinists
Myint Zan compares different ways of denying free will.
Calvinistic vs Augustinian Predestination

John Calvin (1509-1564) was a seminal French/Swiss theologian of the Protestant persuasion. One of Calvin’s theological doctrines was his concept of ‘predestination’. In short, only those who believe in Christ can be saved, but the Christian creator deity has, in his discretion, chosen in advance who to save by leading or allowing them to believe in Christ. From my understanding of this, Calvin seems to have meant that whether or not a person believes in God was pre-determined by that God.
See what I mean?

What could possibly be more important to Christians than pinning down whether or not they are predestined by God to be saved? Yet any number of Christians demur here. On the contrary, they insist, everything revovling around Judgment Day revolves in turn around our having the capacity to freely choose to accept Jesus Christ as our own personal savior.

Even an omnsicient God is moot when it comes to that.
Hence for example, if the atheist Richard Dawkins has chosen not to believe in God, and indeed to be critical of the idea or ‘construct’ of God, that non-belief of Dawkins (and one would add, of millions of others worldwide) was also pre-determined by the deity himself. This is a very specific type or application of the denial of free will.
Any Spinozians here? Please note how, in your view, Spinoza himself might have reacted to those like Dawkins. Given his own assessment of determinism, would or would not Dawkins have had the capacity to opt freely to believe in God? The Christian God? Did Spinoza himself have this capacity? Or did Calvin's God predispose/predestin him [like all the rest of us] to do only that which he [we] are never able not to do?
A comparable (though not necessarily similar) special pleading can be seen in varying degrees in other dogmas and ideologies, some of whose tenets may otherwise be opposed to Calvin’s ideology. Non-belief in God was the will of God himself according to Calvin.
So, here and now, I do not believe that Jesus Christ is my personal savior. But for a few years way back when, I did believe that. Both times that was the will of God? And if Non-belief is the will of God how on Earth can Calvinists justify eternal damnation ion Hell?

One take on it: https://soteriology101.com/2021/11/11/c ... -and-hell/
In a different-but-not-that-different assertion, Marxists might assert that inbuilt ‘class biases’ lead people to oppose Marxism. A few Freudians might also state that those who disagree with Freud and his theories are showing psychological ‘resistance’. And a few radical feminists’ catch phrase is that many people, including many females, most liberal and cultural feminists, and almost all males, institutions, religions, political ideologies and philosophies, are dominated by, or suffused with ‘male constructs’ they themselves had no part in constructing or deliberating upon.
Then back to the part where all of this factors into the argument made by the hardcore determinists that everything that every Calvinist and Marxist and Freudian ever though, felt, said or did they were never able not to in the only possible world.
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iambiguous
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

Spinoza & Other Determinists
Myint Zan compares different ways of denying free will.
Neither Calvin nor Spinoza were privy to these philosophies [above], which emerged a few centuries after their deaths; but indeed, Spinoza’s concept of Deus sive Natura (‘God, or Nature’) was itself a radical departure from the Abrahamic concept of the personal deity – so much so that Spinoza’s Amsterdam synagogue expelled and anathematised him for his unorthodox philosophy.
Of course, being "expelled' is better than what happened to others down through the ages who dared to challenge the powers that be. Religious or otherwise. And, indeed, my own thoughts on all of this are all the more radical in suggesting that moral and political and spiritual value judgments are themselves rooted existentially in dasein in a No God world.

That is, if our value judgments are, in fact, a manifestation of free will at all.
Spinoza’s God, and his ‘intellectual love of God’, is not related to Calvin’s predestinationism. Though both Spinoza and Hawking were philosophical determinists, the identity of the ‘determiner’, so to speak, was not Calvin’s deity – nor the deity of the Catholic theologian Augustine of Hippo (354-430), either.
Instead, the "determiner" is still ensconced deeply in all that we do not -- cannot? -- understand about this:
All of this going back to how the matter we call the human brain was "somehow" able to acquire autonomy when non-living matter "somehow" became living matter "somehow" became conscious matter "somehow" became self-conscious matter.
And then the gap between being a "philosophical determinist" and a determinist compelled to argue that everything we think, feel, say and do reflects the only possible reality.
Flannel Jesus
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Re: compatibilism

Post by Flannel Jesus »

promethean75 wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2024 11:37 pm "You know what's coming..."

Determinists, who are a special type of philosophical shaman, have the power to cause the lower ranking philosopher - the freewillist - to realize there is no freewill, provided the freewillist has the intelligence to comprehend and understand the determinist's arguments.
You're assuming he's writing this for other people.
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iambiguous
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

Spinoza & Other Determinists
Myint Zan compares different ways of denying free will.
Augustine preceded Calvin and Spinoza by about 1,200 years and 1,300 years respectively.
From my own vantage point, whether someone precedes or follows someone here by a century or a millennia, what doesn't change is the part where they actually demonstrate that what they believe about God is in fact true. The rest is basically just the psychology of objectivism wistfully carried beyond the grave all the way out to immortality and salvation.
In one of his essays in the book The Night is Large, Martin Gardner claimed that according to Augustine, ‘’God stands above time and sees the past, the present and the future.” From my recall of what I read in Augustine’s Confessions, there were passages to that effect, whereby every instant is like an eternal present to God.
A classic example of something that is believed by those who have absolutely no capacity [that I am aware of here and now] to go beyond a leap of faith and actually substantiate it. And if God does stand "above time and sees the past, the present and the future", how is that not just one more component of a world that unfolds only as God already knows that it must unfold.
But to one such as me, outside of the theological traditions of both Calvin and Augustine, this query comes to mind: Does God have the power to change the future, the present, or even the past? Superimposing Calvinist theology over the Augustinian, a further query is: Can and does God change his mind (so to speak), and ‘reverse’ his choice as to whom he confers salvation, and who (let’s not mince words now) he condemns to damnation?
Again, the crucial point here, however, is not the answer to this question, but whether there is a God "out there" able to answer it in the first place. Then the part where an omniscient God Himself is factored into human autonomy.

By definition?
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iambiguous
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

Flannel Jesus wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 7:19 pm

You're assuming he's writing this for other people.
Again, just as I noted over at ILP... "for the record":
FJ knows absolutely nothing at all about my motivations and intentions here. I post mostly as a way to sustain exchanges with a handful of folks I've come to know "virtually" over the years. One going all the way back to MSN's "Friends of Brainstorm" and the Yahoo Philosophy Groups.

Also, while I am more involved than ever in exchanging philosophy [6 to 8 hours a day] my friend Rebecca introduced me to a forum that attempts to explore the world around us at the intersection of science and philosophy. There are only about 6 to 8 regular contributors that I can discern, but the exchanges there reflect precisely the sort of "serious philosophy" that revolves around both the existential parameters of our lives and in respecting each other's intelligence.
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phyllo
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Re: compatibilism

Post by phyllo »

FJ knows absolutely nothing at all about my motivations and intentions here. I post mostly as a way to sustain exchanges with a handful of folks I've come to know "virtually" over the years. One going all the way back to MSN's "Friends of Brainstorm" and the Yahoo Philosophy Groups.
It's odd that these "folks" never reply to any of your posts.

One would think that someone would start an account and post an opinion on something that you had written.
Also, while I am more involved than ever in exchanging philosophy [6 to 8 hours a day] my friend Rebecca introduced me to a forum that attempts to explore the world around us at the intersection of science and philosophy. There are only about 6 to 8 regular contributors that I can discern, but the exchanges there reflect precisely the sort of "serious philosophy" that revolves around both the existential parameters of our lives and in respecting each other's intelligence.
Too bad we can't see these exchanges so that we could learn from them.
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iambiguous
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

phyllo wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:08 pm
FJ knows absolutely nothing at all about my motivations and intentions here. I post mostly as a way to sustain exchanges with a handful of folks I've come to know "virtually" over the years. One going all the way back to MSN's "Friends of Brainstorm" and the Yahoo Philosophy Groups.
It's odd that these "folks" never reply to any of your posts. One would think that someone would start an account and post an opinion on something that you had written.
Click.

And how on Earth could you possibly know that?
Also, while I am more involved than ever in exchanging philosophy [6 to 8 hours a day] my friend Rebecca introduced me to a forum that attempts to explore the world around us at the intersection of science and philosophy. There are only about 6 to 8 regular contributors that I can discern, but the exchanges there reflect precisely the sort of "serious philosophy" that revolves around both the existential parameters of our lives and in respecting each other's intelligence.
phyllo wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:08 pmToo bad we can't see these exchanges so that we could learn from them.
In other words, too bad you and the other Stooges here can't participate there as well in order to expose to a new audience all of the many, many accusations you've leveled at me here and over at ILP.

This forum doesn't work that way though. It's a "private" community in which others contribute by invitation only. In fact, after a number of years apart, Becky came back into my life [virtually] and told me about it. The last thing I would do is to open the door there to any number of the folks who post here or at ILP.
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phyllo
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Re: compatibilism

Post by phyllo »

phyllo wrote: ↑Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:08 pm
FJ knows absolutely nothing at all about my motivations and intentions here. I post mostly as a way to sustain exchanges with a handful of folks I've come to know "virtually" over the years. One going all the way back to MSN's "Friends of Brainstorm" and the Yahoo Philosophy Groups.
It's odd that these "folks" never reply to any of your posts. One would think that someone would start an account and post an opinion on something that you had written.
Click.

And how on Earth could you possibly know that?
It's easy to see who replies to your posts here and at ILP. I don't know about other places but I didn't claim that I did.
In other words, too bad you and the other Stooges here can't participate there as well in order to expose to a new audience all of the many, many accusations you've leveled at me here and over at ILP.
Two words : professional counseling.

You might learn not to take everything as a personal threat.

I wasn't actually going to join even if you had provided a link. I certainly wouldn't go there to attack or embarrass you.

Naturally, I can't speak for the other stooges.
This forum doesn't work that way though. It's a "private" community in which others contribute by invitation only. In fact, after a number of years apart, Becky came back into my life [virtually] and told me about it. The last thing I would do is to open the door there to any number of the folks who post here or at ILP.
And you complain that Satyr won't let you post at KTS. :shock:

Must keep the riffraff out, of course.

But you cut from one forum and paste in another all the time. So why not show us the way of great discussions.

It may damage our eyes and brains?
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iambiguous
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

phyllo wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:33 pm
phyllo wrote: ↑Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:08 pm


It's odd that these "folks" never reply to any of your posts. One would think that someone would start an account and post an opinion on something that you had written.
Click.

And how on Earth could you possibly know that?
It's easy to see who replies to your posts here and at ILP. I don't know about other places but I didn't claim that I did.
In other words, too bad you and the other Stooges here can't participate there as well in order to expose to a new audience all of the many, many accusations you've leveled at me here and over at ILP.
Two words : professional counseling.

You might learn not to take everything as a personal threat.

I wasn't actually going to join even if you had provided a link. I certainly wouldn't go there to attack or embarrass you.

Naturally, I can't speak for the other stooges.
This forum doesn't work that way though. It's a "private" community in which others contribute by invitation only. In fact, after a number of years apart, Becky came back into my life [virtually] and told me about it. The last thing I would do is to open the door there to any number of the folks who post here or at ILP.
And you complain that Satyr won't let you post at KTS. :shock:

Must keep the riffraff out, of course.

But you cut from one forum and paste in another all the time. So why not show us the way of great discussions.

It may damage our eyes and brains?
Looks like we're "stuck" again. :wink:
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phyllo
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Re: compatibilism

Post by phyllo »

Well, that didn't take long. :cry:
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Re: compatibilism

Post by Iwannaplato »

phyllo wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:33 pm
phyllo wrote: ↑Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:08 pm


It's odd that these "folks" never reply to any of your posts. One would think that someone would start an account and post an opinion on something that you had written.
Click.

And how on Earth could you possibly know that?
It's easy to see who replies to your posts here and at ILP. I don't know about other places but I didn't claim that I did.
In other words, too bad you and the other Stooges here can't participate there as well in order to expose to a new audience all of the many, many accusations you've leveled at me here and over at ILP.
Two words : professional counseling.

You might learn not to take everything as a personal threat.

I wasn't actually going to join even if you had provided a link. I certainly wouldn't go there to attack or embarrass you.

Naturally, I can't speak for the other stooges.
This forum doesn't work that way though. It's a "private" community in which others contribute by invitation only. In fact, after a number of years apart, Becky came back into my life [virtually] and told me about it. The last thing I would do is to open the door there to any number of the folks who post here or at ILP.
And you complain that Satyr won't let you post at KTS. :shock:

Must keep the riffraff out, of course.

But you cut from one forum and paste in another all the time. So why not show us the way of great discussions.

It may damage our eyes and brains?
This is a good suggestion. We could then see how Iambiguous interacts with people he respects and who respect him.

I mean in less than two days his friend has gone from Rebecca to Becky. People must get very close to each other.
Though I have to say the use of a specific name was very odd.

Perhaps he could share an exchange with Becky before she becomes The B or whatever.
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iambiguous
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

Moe wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 11:00 pm
Larry wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:33 pm

Click.

And how on Earth could you possibly know that?
It's easy to see who replies to your posts here and at ILP. I don't know about other places but I didn't claim that I did.
In other words, too bad you and the other Stooges here can't participate there as well in order to expose to a new audience all of the many, many accusations you've leveled at me here and over at ILP.
Two words : professional counseling.

You might learn not to take everything as a personal threat.

I wasn't actually going to join even if you had provided a link. I certainly wouldn't go there to attack or embarrass you.

Naturally, I can't speak for the other stooges.
This forum doesn't work that way though. It's a "private" community in which others contribute by invitation only. In fact, after a number of years apart, Becky came back into my life [virtually] and told me about it. The last thing I would do is to open the door there to any number of the folks who post here or at ILP.
And you complain that Satyr won't let you post at KTS. :shock:

Must keep the riffraff out, of course.

But you cut from one forum and paste in another all the time. So why not show us the way of great discussions.

It may damage our eyes and brains?
This is a good suggestion. We could then see how Iambiguous interacts with people he respects and who respect him.

I mean in less than two days his friend has gone from Rebecca to Becky. People must get very close to each other.
Though I have to say the use of a specific name was very odd.

Perhaps he could share an exchange with Becky before she becomes The B or whatever.
Click.

The irony here is this: that over at ILP, Moe once "exposed" me by going all the way back to my exchanges at the now defunct Ponderer's Guild. Back then, however, Rebecca, Julian and I used to do our "Magus" act. Spinning members around and around. Julian died and Rebecca just vanished into thin air. Now she's back in my life virtually [a long story] and we exchange posts there and through emails.

I'll run "the B" by her though and she how she reacts.
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